Monthly Archives: January 2011

One Site Per Cloud

One Site Per Cloud

I’ve been working on the Digital Cheetah Cloud Platform for about six months now and we’re currently in the Alpha test phase. Shortly we’ll begin the Beta phase that will last through May. In many traditional web site set-ups, you minimize cost by adding as many virtual sites per server as you can – sometimes 1000’s of sites physically reside on a single server. Digital Cheetah typically has 10-40 sites per server. However, although this is cost-effective, it is a long way from optimal in a more virtualized world.

Thanks to competition, it is possible to get a full Cloud Server (cloud) or Virtual Machine (VM) for around $11 per month. This allows you to consider using one cloud for each site. This means we’ll have 1000’s of clouds eventually, but as long as our Cloud Platform can support them there are many benefits to this approach:

  • Flexibility
    • You can resize the cloud according to the site’s requirements.
    • You can choose specific versions of a stack per site without worrying if it clashes with other sites on the same stack.
    • You can choose a physical location close to the site.
    • You can try new software for a single site and have limited deployment until you are ready for full deployment.
  • Fault Tolerance
    • Each cloud is likely to be on a different physical server so if the server dies and there is no automatic rollover, only one site goes down, instead of many.
    • It is easy to move sites around.
  • Billing
    • It is easy to know precisely what a site costs you because they each have their own cloud.
    • If you group sites into logical networks or verticals (and possibly individual billing units), it becomes easy to see the cost of each vertical.
  • Individual Time Zones
    • Each cloud can have the precise time zone tailored to the site.
    • By having multiple clouds in a network with different time zones it lowers the load across the network because instead of batch jobs all firing at midnight (say), midnight is now spread across multiple time zones
    • Maintenance starts during the night for each client.  Today when we fire-up a “nightly” job it could actually be running at 9pm in California when the site is still quite busy.
    • Maintenance jobs process concurrently during the night. When you have a 100 sites on a server any nightly jobs can take hours because each site is worked on sequentially. When they are distributed across multiple clouds they all finish sooner.

If you can manage the clouds automatically then it is easily the best approach for the client, and is a huge benefit of Cloud Computing.